The White-Slave Traffic Act 1910

The White-Slave Traffic Act 1910

The White-Slave Traffic Act 1910
The White-Slave Traffic Act 1910

The Mann Act of 1910 (also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910) makes it illegal to transport “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.”

The Mann Act, named for Illinois Congressman James R. Mann, used the Trade Clause to make it illegal to transfer women for immoral reasons via interstate or international commerce. Prostitution, immorality, and human trafficking were all targets of the Act. In 1907, Congress established a commission to look into the subject of immigrant prostitutes. Foreign women were allegedly transported to America for sexual enslavement, and immigrant males allegedly recruited American girls into prostitution (also known as “white slavery”). The committees felt that unless a girl was drugged or held hostage, she would not enter prostitution. This sparked public anger, and the Mann Act was finally passed as a result.

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